(makes 8 dough balls @ 250g)
Shipton Mill 00 Italian Flour 1144g (100%)
Levain @ 100% hydration 228g (20%)
Water 640g (56%)
Salt 36g (3%)
Final hydration with levain is 60%
1. Build your levain about 60 hours before you plan to bake your pizza. I use 20% inoculation using my "core" starter which is fed using light rye flour. 25g mature starter, 125g water, 125g Shipton 00 flour. Leave for around 8-9 hours at 20-25C until it reaches peak maturity i.e. more than doubled in size, bubbles all over the surface, smells nice and sweet.
2. Mix flour and water, until no dry flour remains, aiming for around 25C. Cover and leave for 30-45min to autolyse. This is where the gluten starts to develop and strengthen the dough, reducing the kneading needed later on.
3. You will notice the dough has gained in strength and is a lot smoother after the autolyse period. Add your starter and salt and squeeze and fold this into the dough - it will be quite sticky now. Cover and leave for 5-10mins.
4. Turn out onto a damp work surface and knead for around 5min, then cover with the bowl and leave to rest for around 10min, then repeat.
5. Perform a window pane test, talking hold of a section of the dough and testing if it will stretch to translucent without tearing. If it does, this meana the gluten structure is sufficiently developed. If it tears, repeat the knead and rest. 3 kneads should be sufficient.
6. Ball the dough up into one big ball nice and tightly and place into a lightly-oiled, sealed container. Leave to proof at room temp for around 4 hours, until there is a size increase of around 50%.
7. Place into the fridge for 48h to ferment and develop more flavour and strength.
8. Around 3h before you want to bake your pizzas, remove the dough from the fridge, scale out to 250g portions and then ball up really tightly by dragging the dough towards you on the work surface, then rotating and repeating until it is smooth as smooth. Place into a proving tray or other sealed container, leaving at least 5cm between. Allow 3-4h for final proof, then stretch and bake!
Best results in a wood-fired stone oven at 400C!
Enjoy, then plan when you're next making pizza!